Michael Brockman — a longtime Westporter, with unique interests and talents — died recently. He was 74 years old.
In the Army, he was a nuclear weapons specialist. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1975.
Michael worked as road test editor at Motor Trend Magazine. He began racing professionally in 1979, and competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and Le Mans.
He went on to work as a film actor and stuntman in “Harry & Son,” “Fat Man And Little Boy” and “Road to Perdition,” among others.
After moving to Connecticut, Michael lived and worked here until his death. He was, most recently, the owner of Mazda of Milford.
Michael’s friend for 30 years, Ian Warburg, writes:
“Brock” was a legendary character. He came to live here because of his best friend and partner in crime, Paul Newman. He stayed because of his marriage to Westport native, Jennifer O’Reilly, and their children, Keleigh and Spencer. Spencer is now a noted race car driver too.
Brock was a class act through and through. A true southern gentleman with a warm heart, an easy smile and always a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Cooler than cool, this humble Florida boy packed his life with fun and adventure that took him to every corner of the globe, and had him raising jars and rubbing elbows with some of the most notable and interesting people of our times.
His stories, and the telling of them, were legendary. Just ask Jack Nicholson. Or everyone who knew him, and was lucky enough to have called him their friend.
He lived a life most men might well have dreamed of, “working” as a professional race car driver, a writer for Motor Trend, an actor, a stuntman, camp counselor at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and a businessman, owning and operating Connecticut Volvo and Mazda dealerships for the better part of the last 25 years of his life.
He was a great friend to his friends, and a loving husband to his former wife, Jennifer, with whom he enjoyed a warm and caring relationship that extended beyond their run as a married couple.
More than anything he delighted in his role as the father to Keleigh and Spencer, something we often talked about over a cold Budweiser. He revolved around them with absolute joy, celebrating and supporting their dreams and wishes.
With Keleigh he shared his love of acting, and joined her as a cast member of “Blue Bloods” from time to time.
With Spencer he delighted in celebrating his “gift” for making race cars go fast — very, very fast — besting racers with more money and newer technology, and watching him stand on the podium almost every time he raced.
And with both he shared his love of so much, including sushi, enjoying weekly feasts as fixtures at the sushi bar at Sakura.
Brock and I got together late summer with another pal, Ian O’Malley, for what would wind up being our last beer at the Black Duck. We had a heck of a good time, raised a little hell, and traded stories and laughs, toasting to the next time we’d be together. Turns out, it won’t be at the Duck.
Until we meet again, my friend: This Bud’s for you! Cheers.
(A celebration of Michael’s life is set for Sunday, December 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. at his dealership, 915 Boston Post Road in Milford. If you plan to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, friends may consider a contribution in Michael’s memory to the Boggy Creek Gang Camp, 30500 Brantley Branch Rd., Eustis, FL, 32736.)